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Lecture on Medieval Japanese Buddhism

May 15, 2013

Cluster member Anna Andreeva, PhD (Cantab.), gave a lecture in Kyoto, Japan, about “Esoteric Buddhist monks and kami worship in medieval Japan: On the Ryôbu Shintô traditions at Ise and Miwa”. The lecture was held in Japanese and attracted an audience of more than 150 guests.

Recent discoveries at Buddhist temples demonstrate that medieval monks, semi-itinerant holy men and mountain ascetics specializing in the study and practice of esoteric Buddhism played a very active part in shaping these perceptions. Andreeva's talk focused on the ritual and intellectual pursuits of these practitioners who congregated in the vicinity of important sacred sites and mountains, such as Ise, Hiei and Miwa, and discussed their ideas regarding kami and esoteric Buddhist deities as well as the ritual application of the Two Mandalas onto the local landscape. Several local newspapers reported about the well-attended event and Andreeva's research at the Cluster of Excellence.

Furthermore, Anna Andreeva will give another lecture in June based on her work on the Cluster’s research project C11 “Medicine and Religion”. During the past months, she already spoke at the Kyoto University, the University of California at Santa Barbara, the annual meeting of the Association of Asian Studies in San Diego, and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Anna Andreeva has earned her doctorate at University of Cambridge in 2006. She spent a year at Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard, before returning to Cambridge to take up a position of Margaret Smith Research Fellow in Japanese Religions at Girton College in 2007. She joined the Cluster in April 2010 and is involved in the research project C11 “Medicine and Religion in Premodern East Asia”. Currently she is visiting research fellow at the International Centre for Japanese Studies in Kyoto, Japan.


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